Halyk cuts state stake with $200 mln share buyback

June 28. Reuters. ALMATY

Halyk cuts state stake with $200 mln share buybackHalyk Bank , Kazakhstan’s second-largest lender by assets, will buy back about $200 million of its preference shares from the state on Friday, as it bids to reduce the state’s influence to a minimum.

“The total number of shares to be bought back will comprise no more than 160 million at 179.94 tenge ($1.21) per share,” Halyk said in a statement published in the official Kazakhstanskaya Pravda daily (www.kazpravda.kz) on Thursday.

“On June 29, 2012, purchase and sale deals will be made and registered exclusively with preference shares,” it added.

In 2009, as part of an anti-crisis programme, the Central Asian state’s sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna acquired 20.9 percent of ordinary shares in Halyk for 27 billion tenge and 50.3 percent of its preference shares for 33 billion tenge.

Halyk is part-owned by Almex, a holding controlled by President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s daughter and son-in-law. Almex holds the buyback option.

In April 2011 Halyk and Almex bought out 19.8 percent of the ordinary shares from the state for around 33 billion tenge.

According to Halyk data, around 196 million of its preference shares still circulate on the market. Samruk-Kazyna still holds half of its preference shares, or around 13 percent of all its shares.

Halyk’s net profit rose by 58 percent in the first quarter of 2012, compared to the same year-ago period, and totalled 16.8 billion tenge ($114 million). Its bad debt charges fell by more than a third in the same comparison.